A while ago, I shared with you a tip on the best way to apply concealer for a lovely diffused and natural finish. I don’t know if anyone is still practising it, but I still am, and it still amazes me to this day, how effortless it is and looks.
The next question that naturally arose was what is the best concealer brush to use?
I’ve been meddling around for a while since, trying to figure out which makeup brush I favoured for applying concealer, and I think I have finally found the best ones.
Do note that I will share with you the best SHAPES you should look out for, because there are many different brands of brushes out there, and you can use this guideline to find one within your budget. You may have realised by now, that my tastes run into champagne territory, not iced tea 😛
The concealer brush I don’t recommend
This will be harsh, but I WILL NOT recommend the flat paddle-shaped brush that is usually labelled “concealer”. This is the silver Shu Uemura brush with synthetic bristles that you see in these pictures.
The Shu Uemura brush I have is old and may no longer be available. But most brushes that are pushed for use to apply concealer, especially around the under-eye area, are shaped like this. This is also the same brush that is often peddled for all over eyeshadow application. Yes, I don’t like it for that purpose either.
I had to learn it the hard way, after amassing a few in different brands and bristles, only to realise that it does not work very well. The reason I say so is because these sort of brushes, which resemble paint brushes, apply product too thickly to the skin, just like paint brushes. If you are anything like me, and abhor having thick makeup on your face, then this is a brush you will want to avoid. The same principle is true for foundation. However, if you prefer having more product on your face, then you’d want this brush because my recommendations will not work for you 😛
The best brushes for applying concealer
The best sort of brushes for applying concealer for me therefore, are brushes that are dense and flexible. The reason for this is quite simple. A dense brush allows for you to use a lighter hand, and for the brush to blend less product more seamlessly onto your skin to build coverage. A flexible brush head allows the brush to flex more easily and diffuse product more evenly. With these brushes, I experience no streaking, no patchiness and importantly, allows me to use just very little product.
The key thing to note is that none of these brushes are labelled for use for concealer and are in fact for eyeshadow application. In fact, they aren’t even labelled for use with cream-based products as they are all natural hair brushes! But work within your comfort zone – there are many good quality synthetic brushes available today.
This is a brush often labelled a blending brush. It usually has longer, more flexible bristles, that fan out to a rounded head. Brushes like these come in different sizes, and are often suggested for blending eyeshadow. The one I’ve shown here is a Hakuhodo J142 (white goat bristle) and I have also other similar shaped brushes in other brands.
With a brush like this, you can work your concealer around your under-eye area in little circular motions, and it results in a very diffused, seamless look – pretty much like blending your eyeshadow.
Large Domed Eyeshadow Brush
Brushes like these are fairly large and dense, and work well for those with large eyelid space. But I found it to be excellent for applying and blending my concealer. The dense head picks up product very easily (especially useful with drier formulas like the NARS Soft Matte Concealer – I have a newfound admiration for it) and diffuses very little product very efficiently. If you prefer more coverage, this is the brush you want.
I usually dip the head of the brush into the pot, allowing the tips of the brush head to pick up product. Then, I dab it where I need it, before lightly blending. It is incredibly easy to control due to the larger head, easy to blend and diffuse, due to its dense but flexible bristles, and quick, because it’s so large! The brush I use is the NARS Eyeshadow Brush #40 and it is stellar for blending concealer! It’s the one I use most often.
Left to Right: Wayne Goss Shadow Blending Brush #16, NARS Eyeshadow Brush #40, Hakuhodo J142
Large Dense Shadow Blending Brush
Again, this is an eyeshadow brush and again, it is a large one. I’m not sure why I bought it, but I think it came in one of the Wayne Goss brush sets I bought a couple of years back. (I’ve stopped collecting temporarily 😛 ). I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, because it is so large. It is supposed to be useful for applying and blending out shadow.
The difference between a brush of this shape and the one before this, is that it has a round ferrule as opposed to a flattened one.
I later found that this performed similarly to the domed eyeshadow brush. The dense bristles allow me to pick up product more easily, and the dense but longer, flexible brushes allow me to blend product better for a more diffused and seamless appearance.
You can find a similar shape in other brush brands. I have seen a similar sort of brush in more affordable brands like Zoeva or Sigma.
How I use these brushes to apply and blend concealer
With a drier formula that comes in a tub, I dab the brush into the pot and diffuse it directly on my skin. Usually one dab per eye and cheek area. I don’t end up with too much product on my skin, and the results are very natural.
When I use more liquid formula like those found in a tube e.g. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, I usually lightly dot 1-2 dots on my under-eye area, and 3-4 dots for my pigmentation. Then, I grab one of the brushes here, and just blend it out. It is impressively quick, and the results are flawless. Also, if I feel like I need a touch more concealer after I’m done with the rest of my makeup, I just pick up the brush and lightly blend where I need it. Done in a two shakes of a lamb’s tail! 😀
Can’t I use my fingers?
Of course you can! I was using my fingers for the longest time because I did not like the brush I was using, and I found I had to use the warmth of my fingers to blend out any streaks. But when I found the right brushes, everything fell into place! 😀
Do you use brushes to apply and blend your concealer? What are your favourites?
It took me a while to figure out which brushes worked, and to think outside the box. I was afraid of using eyeshadow brushes for the longest time because they’re not “meant for use that way”. But I’m glad I jumped out of that box! 😀